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God/Maximal being/stuff

Illegalcombatant
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12/14/2012 7:22:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In maximal being arguments, (why maximal being, why not maximal stuff ?), but anyway, in the maximal being arguments in order to determine what a maximal being is you take some positive attribute/characteristic/description and the maximal being must have that......maximally, that which nothing can be greater/or conceived to be greater.

For example, a maximal conceivable being must be all knowing why? cause if you conceive of something that has more knowledge you can conceive of that something having more knowledge than that, and so on and so on, until you get to all knowing, and you can't know more than knowing it all thus knowledge finds maximal in "all knowing" and its greater to be all knowing than to not be all knowing.

The same applies to any and every charctersitc you can conceive off, maximal power maxes out at "all powerful", maximal wisdom maxes out at "all wise", maximal justice maxes out at "all just" etc etc, and once again its greater to be all wise than to not be all wise, its greater to be all powerful than not all powerful etc etc.

Then comes the variable of existence, and it goes....its greater to exist than to not exist thus a maximal being must exist.

But not so fast, even if we accept this, where exactly does it take us ? consider for example the question of existence of a maximal being, I give you the following argument......

Question: Is is greater to have existence that is part of reality or IS reality ?, what do I mean by reality....simply that which exists. I think the question is just as obvious as asking is it greater to be all knowing or to not be all knowing. As such a maximal being must have maximal existence, and it can't have maximal existence if it is only part of reality, it must be the entire of reality.

I'm sure there will be some objections.........
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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12/14/2012 8:09:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 7:22:33 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
Then comes the variable of existence, and it goes....its greater to exist than to not exist thus a maximal being must exist.

The problem with this premise is that it treats existence as if it were a property that some things have and some things don't. But existence isn't a property. Rather, existence consists in the having of properties. So it's a categorical mistake to compare things that exist with things that don't exist and to say that one is greater than the other.

Some versions of the ontological argument don't have this problem. For example, Alvin Plantinga's version trades, not the the distinction between existence and non-existence, but rather, between the distinction between contingent existence and necessary existence. While existence is not a property that something can either have or not have, necessity is a property that something that exists can either have or not have.

But Plantinga's argument suffers from a different problem.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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12/14/2012 10:25:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 8:09:27 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/14/2012 7:22:33 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
Then comes the variable of existence, and it goes....its greater to exist than to not exist thus a maximal being must exist.

The problem with this premise is that it treats existence as if it were a property that some things have and some things don't. But existence isn't a property. Rather, existence consists in the having of properties. So it's a categorical mistake to compare things that exist with things that don't exist and to say that one is greater than the other.

Some versions of the ontological argument don't have this problem. For example, Alvin Plantinga's version trades, not the the distinction between existence and non-existence, but rather, between the distinction between contingent existence and necessary existence. While existence is not a property that something can either have or not have, necessity is a property that something that exists can either have or not have.

But Plantinga's argument suffers from a different problem.

What do you think is the problem with Plantiga's argument?
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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12/14/2012 10:35:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 10:25:22 PM, stubs wrote:
What do you think is the problem with Plantiga's argument?

It's the fact that there's no way to know if the premise is true that, "There is a possible world in which maximal greatness is instantiated." There's only two ways to defend that premise:

1. There is nothing obviously incoherent about a world in which maximal greatness is instantiated, and if it's no incoherent, then it's possible.

But the problem is that there's nothing obviously incoherent about the notion of a world in which maximal greatness is not instantiated either. And if there is a possible world in which maximal greatness is not instantiated, then it would follow that maximal greatness is not instantiated in any possible world. If you think this argument through, you discover that either a maximally great being is necessary or impossible, there's no way to know which it is.

2. You can appeal to other theistic arguments to lend support to the notion that maximal greatness is impossible.

But this argument is problematic for two reasons:

2.1. It's circular reasoning. The conclusion you're trying to get to with Plantinga's argument is that God exists. But if you defend one of your premises with the existence of God which you got from a different argument, then you've assume the existence of God before concluding the existence of God, so the argument is circular.

2.2. Most theistic arguments do not allow you to infer that God has maximal greatness. Maximal greatness includes necessary existence. The moral argument, cosmological argument, and teleological arguments do not allow you to make that inference. The only arguments that allow you to make that inference are the transcendental argument (which I think is fallacious), and the argument from contingency. But the argument from contingency results in a metaphysically necessary God, not a logically necessary God, which is needed to support Plantinga's argument.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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12/14/2012 10:38:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 10:35:44 PM, philochristos wrote:
2. You can appeal to other theistic arguments to lend support to the notion that maximal greatness is impossible.

Possible, I mean. I wish there was a way to edit posts.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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12/14/2012 11:02:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 10:48:17 PM, Apeiron wrote:
This is easily answered by Leibniz's pSR.

How so? The principle of sufficient reason only allows you to conclude that there's a metaphysically necessary God. The PSR is the basis for the argument from contingency. But I've already explained why that doesn't salvage Plantinga's argument.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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12/14/2012 11:15:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"4: Therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being exists."

I got a possible counter argument to a plantinga's argument.

If X possibly exists, then this also entails X possibly does not exist.

If X exists necessarily, then its not possible for X to not exist.

Thus something can't "possibly necessarily" exist.

Thus the premise that a maximal being can "possibly necessarily" exist is false.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
philochristos
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12/14/2012 11:24:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 11:15:28 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
"4: Therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being exists."

I got a possible counter argument to a plantinga's argument.

If X possibly exists, then this also entails X possibly does not exist.

If X exists necessarily, then its not possible for X to not exist.

Thus something can't "possibly necessarily" exist.

Thus the premise that a maximal being can "possibly necessarily" exist is false.

I think the problem with this argument is your first premise. It's not true that if something is possible that it's also possibly not. After all, necessary things are also possible. If they weren't possible, then they couldn't be necessary. But if something is necessary, then it's isn't that case it's it's possibly not. So if something is possible, then that doesn't mean it's possibly not.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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12/14/2012 11:27:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It might be more clear if I explain using possible world semantics.

If something is possible, that means it exists in at least one possible world.

If something is necessary, that means it exists in all possible worlds.

If something exists in all possible worlds, then obviously it exists in at least one possible world. So if something is necessary, then it's possible. But that wouldn't mean it's possibly not because to say that something is necessary and possibly not is a contradiction.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
Apeiron
Posts: 2,446
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12/14/2012 11:31:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 11:02:11 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/14/2012 10:48:17 PM, Apeiron wrote:
This is easily answered by Leibniz's pSR.

How so? The principle of sufficient reason only allows you to conclude that there's a metaphysically necessary God. The PSR is the basis for the argument from contingency. But I've already explained why that doesn't salvage Plantinga's argument.

Leibniz asked why anything at all exists. So even if 'stuff' was metaphysically existing, it would still require an explanation of its existence.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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12/14/2012 11:32:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 11:24:55 PM, philochristos wrote:
At 12/14/2012 11:15:28 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
"4: Therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being exists."

I got a possible counter argument to a plantinga's argument.

If X possibly exists, then this also entails X possibly does not exist.

If X exists necessarily, then its not possible for X to not exist.

Thus something can't "possibly necessarily" exist.

Thus the premise that a maximal being can "possibly necessarily" exist is false.

I think the problem with this argument is your first premise. It's not true that if something is possible that it's also possibly not. After all, necessary things are also possible. If they weren't possible, then they couldn't be necessary. But if something is necessary, then it's isn't that case it's it's possibly not. So if something is possible, then that doesn't mean it's possibly not.

If we say for example it will possibly rain tomorrow we understand that also entails that it might also NOT rain tommorow. We use this understanding of "possibility" like this in our lives. So if you want to refute that then go ahead, but you need more than to just assert that necessarily things are also possible, cause that just begs the question against the claim that to say X possibly exists also entails that is possible that X does not exist.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
philochristos
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12/15/2012 12:24:59 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 11:31:58 PM, Apeiron wrote:
Leibniz asked why anything at all exists. So even if 'stuff' was metaphysically existing, it would still require an explanation of its existence.

But how does that solve the problems I raised against Plantinga's ontological argument?
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
philochristos
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12/15/2012 12:27:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 11:32:02 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
If we say for example it will possibly rain tomorrow we understand that also entails that it might also NOT rain tommorow. We use this understanding of "possibility" like this in our lives.

That's true, but words like "possible," "necessary," and "impossible" have more specific meanings in modal logic. "Possible," as it's used in the ontological argument, does not entail "possibly not."
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
InquireTruth
Posts: 723
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12/15/2012 1:15:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 11:15:28 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:

Thus something can't "possibly necessarily" exist.

Rene Descartes, limited possibilism. Question the necessity of everything. You are not the epistemic king of the world.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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12/15/2012 5:17:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/15/2012 1:15:24 AM, InquireTruth wrote:
At 12/14/2012 11:15:28 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:

Thus something can't "possibly necessarily" exist.

Rene Descartes, limited possibilism. Question the necessity of everything. You are not the epistemic king of the world.

Hey, you can't prove that.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
DanielChristopherBlowes
Posts: 1,066
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12/15/2012 2:31:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/14/2012 7:22:33 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
In maximal being arguments, (why maximal being, why not maximal stuff ?), but anyway, in the maximal being arguments in order to determine what a maximal being is you take some positive attribute/characteristic/description and the maximal being must have that......maximally, that which nothing can be greater/or conceived to be greater.

For example, a maximal conceivable being must be all knowing why? cause if you conceive of something that has more knowledge you can conceive of that something having more knowledge than that, and so on and so on, until you get to all knowing, and you can't know more than knowing it all thus knowledge finds maximal in "all knowing" and its greater to be all knowing than to not be all knowing.

The same applies to any and every charctersitc you can conceive off, maximal power maxes out at "all powerful", maximal wisdom maxes out at "all wise", maximal justice maxes out at "all just" etc etc, and once again its greater to be all wise than to not be all wise, its greater to be all powerful than not all powerful etc etc.

Then comes the variable of existence, and it goes....its greater to exist than to not exist thus a maximal being must exist.

But not so fast, even if we accept this, where exactly does it take us ? consider for example the question of existence of a maximal being, I give you the following argument......

Question: Is is greater to have existence that is part of reality or IS reality ?, what do I mean by reality....simply that which exists. I think the question is just as obvious as asking is it greater to be all knowing or to not be all knowing. As such a maximal being must have maximal existence, and it can't have maximal existence if it is only part of reality, it must be the entire of reality.

I'm sure there will be some objections.........

But what if weakness is greater than strength? Small things greater than large?

We are limited by a human perspective.
Everyone on the side of Truth listens to Me. (Jesus Christ)